Easing into the new week? Firing from all cylinders? Wallet crippled by Black Friday expenditure? Whatever your present state, we've got the musical companion or antidote you need right here in Tracks Of The Week. Last week you voted these guys into your top three, in reverse order:
3. Radkey - Junes
2. The Amorettes - Born To Break
1. The Cold Stares - The Great Unknown
Congratulations to The Cold Stares, who romped to victory with new single The Great Unknown, and to The Amorettes and Radkey who earned healthy quotas of votes as our second and third prize winners. Who will emerge victorious this week? The power is in your hands, so get stuck in and make your opinion count. Right after you've had another listen to last week's champions...
Austin Gold – Another Kind Of Bad
We’ll kick off with this charismatic single from the British rockers’ album Before Dark Clouds - easily one of our favourite tracks from said album (if you haven’t already checked it out, and enjoy the heartier end of Free and Bad Company, do yourself a favour and rectify that). One of those songs that seems to strike one kind of chord (bright, hard rock’n’roll) before sidestepping into a beautifully warm, bittersweet chorus.
Thundermother – Revival
Four Swedish women, one tight, hard-hitting beef fest that must be a long-lost AC/DC gem (but actually isn’t). If you appreciate the boozy old-school cheer of Airbourne and the like, you'll relish this. The Angus Young fan in us is half-waiting for a guitar solo to come screaming in (it doesn’t), but this doesn’t detract from the full-fat, no-bullshit good times to be had here.
Doyle Bramhall II - Love And Pain
This highlight from new album Shades owes as much to old-school Rn’B and soul as rock’n’roll, making for a deliciously urbane, smooth finish. So smooth, in fact, that the dark underbelly of the song (enforced by the gravestones, blindfolded old man and...erm, gutted fish of the video) creeps up on you oh-so subtly, and rather pleasingly.
Third Lung – Sister Sinner
A mix of ‘crunchy’ grunge-laced chops, atmospheric harmonies and contemporary production qualities drive this soaring, pensive new tune from Reading-based rockers Third Lung. Modern rock ready for the millennial generation – there’s a definite nod to the likes of the Killers in here – informed by classic influences.
A Perfect Circle - Dog Eat Dog
Not the first band you might imagining covering a big ol' AC/DC headbanger, but A Perfect Circle pulled it off with robust aplomb for this Record Store Day release (part of a limited edition seven-inch of Eat The Elephant highlight So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish). Whoever knew the alt metal brains behind APC, Tool and the other bands in their collective arsenal could lend their skills so well to weapons-grade beer-drinking rock'n'roll?
Castle - Red Phantom
A prime cut from new album Deal Thy Fate (recorded in their current Joshua Tree base), the filthy, guitar-chugging Red Phantom showcases this Bay Area 'dark metal' duo's palate of hooky doom, classic heavy metal and head-fucking psychedelics to lip-smacking effect. The stuff of dreams; if you dream of tripping with grizzled old bikers in the Mojave Desert.
Face The Legacy - United As One
A cool, more-ish marriage of 80s melodic rock, 90s grunge and contemporary sensibilities now from Jyväskylä, Finland. There's some fine-tuning to be done in terms of lyrics and verse melody, but with chops, tone and swagger like this we reckon they've got plenty more to offer.
Nicole Atkins feat. Mark Lanegan – November Rain
To finish, how about a Guns N’ Roses classic as realised through the honeyed, 60s/70s-infused pipes of singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins? Accompanied by Mark Lanegan on suave gravelly form, her mournful country-meets-soul approach lends a tender intimacy to the collosal rock ballad. It’s not hard to see why she’s been described as “the heir to the legacy of "Roy Orbison, Lee Hazelwood, Sinatra, Aretha, Carole King, Candi Staton."